Nicholas Meregali vs. Pedro Marinho gi match set for WNO main event

Nicholas Meregali and Pedro Marinho will meet in a gi match in the main event of WNO on May 18.

FloGrappling’s promotion Who’s Number One (WNO) will return to action on Thursday, May 18, this time featuring a gi match in the evening’s main event, as reigning WNO light heavyweight (no-gi) champion Pedro Marinho puts the gi on to square off with three-time IBJJF gi world champion Nicholas Meregali.

Set to go down live from Oklahoma City, OK, the card will showcase four no-gi matches on the main card, as well, per FloGrappling.

Marinho is largely known for his accomplishments in no-gi competition, which include a double-gold performance at the 2021 IBJJF No-Gi Worlds and his WNO title, which he captured in early 2022 with a decision victory over Craig Jones. In his most recent outing, the Gracie Barra representative successfully defended his belt against recent ADCC champion Giancarlo Bodoni.

Despite his many accolades in the no-gi world, Marinho isn’t new to gi competition and was a 2021 IBJJF Pans silver medalist. In an interview with Grappling Insider last October, Marinho explained that he prefers gi over no-gi jiu-jitsu.

Meregali, meanwhile, is widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound gi competitors in the world. A 2022 IBJJF Worlds absolute champion, Meregali focused much of his efforts last year on no-gi competition, earning second in the absolute division and third in his weight class at the 2022 ADCC World Championships. Earlier this year, he returned to the gi in dominant fashion, picking up double gold and submitting all but one of his opponents at the 2023 IBJJF Pans.

The matchup will take place under WNO rules, meaning it will be a 15-minute submission-only affair and all leg entanglements are submissions are legal.

In the evening’s co-main event, veteran black belt Rafael Lovato Jr. will take on Checkmat’s rising star Elder Cruz in a matchup that is likely to involve plenty of wrestling on the feet.

Also, no-gi world champion Amanda “Tubby” Alequin will face accomplished no-gi specialist Alex Enriquez; Jacob “The Hillbilly Hammer” Couch will square off with Izaak Michell in a battle of talented leg lockers, and ADCC veterans Dante Leon and Ruan Alvarenga will meet in what has the makings of a high-paced, action-packed match.

WNO: Meregali vs. Marinho main card line-up

  • Nicholas Meregali vs. Pedro Marinho – heavyweight gi
  • Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Elder Cruz – light heavyweight
  • Amanda Alequin vs. Alex Enriquez – flyweight
  • Jacob Couch vs. Izaak Michell – middleweight
  • Dante Leon vs. Ruan Alvarenga – lightweight

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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